The recent accidental bombing in a community in Kaduna state has added to the tally of Nigerians tragically killed by security agencies during their fight against insurgents and bandits, reaching a devastating total of approximately 400 lives lost. SBM Intelligence released a report in February 2023 revealing that from January 2017 to January 2023, the Nigerian military was responsible for the wrongful deaths of more than 300 innocent Nigerians. The Northern region of the country has been mostly affected by the accidental bombings, primarily attributed to the large presence of Boko Haram, ISWAP, insurgents, and bandits in the area.
Some of the incidents include a tragic event that occurred near the border of Cameroon in Borno State, resulting in the demise of 115 innocent Nigerians. This incident occurred when a Nigerian Air Force Jet unknowingly bombed an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. Regrettably, the loss of life continued in 2020, as reports emerged that 17 women were allegedly killed by the Nigerian Air Force in the Damboa LG area of the state, specifically in Sakotoku village. During a combat with Boko Haram, a Air Force jet missed its target in Mainok, Borno State and claimed the lives of not less than 30 soldiers preparing to engaged with insurgents in the area in April 2021
A village in Yobe was bombed by a military jet in September 2021.
In June 2021, tragic news surfaced about an aerial attack carried out by the NAF Alpha in Niger State and resulted in the loss of innocent lives who were attending a wedding celebration near Genu town. Similarly, on March 3, another distressing incident was reported from Kuregba, Shiroro LGA, also in Niger State, where a NAF jet allegedly caused the untimely demise of at least 12 people. An unspecified number of Special Hunters from the Security Task Force tragically lost their lives in an airstrike carried out in Galadima Kogi, Shiroro LGA of the state, on January 23, 2023.
Another tragic incident occurred on July 12, 2021, when the Nigerian Air Force unintentionally took the lives of a mother and her four children near Suburb Forest in Zamfara State. During December 2022, an airstrike by the NAF accidentally took the lives of approximately 64 people in the Mutumji community within Maru LG of the state. Similarly, in September 2021, a village in the Yunusari LGA of Yobe State was allegedly bombed by a military jet, resulting in the reported deaths of around 10 villagers. In Nasarawa States remote village of Kwatiri, Also, the Nigerian Air Force admitted to carrying out a fatal airstrike on January 7, 2023, causing the demise of approximately 39 innocent civilians.
An Islamic cleric refutes the army’s claim that it was a mistake.
Speaking on the recent Kaduna bombing, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a controversial Islamic cleric, has refuted the army’s claim that it was a mere mistake, saying that such occurrences are not isolated events but rather frequent incidents in remote villages that go unreported. The cleric questioned the intention behind the second bomb, suggesting it deliberately targeted those trying to evacuate the victims’ bodies. During a media interview about this tragic incident, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), expressed his deep concern over this repeated occurrence of accidental bombings, saying that it was becoming one too many.
Onwubiko called for an urgent need for thorough, and transparent investigation into the reported bombings. He further expressed the group’s strong recommendation for the government of President Bola Tinubu to conduct an extensive investigation aimed at finding permanent resolutions to these unfortunate incidents of civilian bombings. The group called for a thorough examination to uncover the underlying reasons behind the recurring accidental bombings of civilians within the nation. They also request the Federal government to accurately ascertain the identities of both the victims and their immediate relatives so as to ensure they receive fair reparation.
Govt has commenced the Pullako Initiative in Kaduna State.
Additionally, HURIWA has also urged the Nigerian military to take necessary precautions to prevent any similar unfortunate mishaps, so as to ensure the safety of civilians. On the other hand, Vice-President Kashim Shettima recently disclosed the Federal Government’s intentions to reconstruct Tudun Biri village, which suffered damage due to an accidental discharge from military drones. As per the Vice President’s statement, President Bola Tinubu has ordered the commencement of the Pullako Initiative in Kaduna State. This comprehensive plan entails providing a range of facilities such as houses, clinics, schools, veterinary clinics, empowerment programs, and solar energy to serve as a form of reparation.